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About

About

Set and light design for Running With Scissors Theatre Co. production of Darkness Falls in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England.
Published:
Running With Scissors Theatre Co.
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England
In October of 2010, I had the opportunity to travel to England to work with Running With Scissors Theatre Co. on a Halloween double bill called .  I began the design process Stateside earlier in the year with the director/design team via Facebook and email.  We discussed concepts and traded image files. 

Shortly before leaving I learned that the venue had to chaneg due to a renovation project in the planned theatre.  I quickly adapted the design concept to fit the new space; which was much smaller. 

Upon arrival in October I discovered the space was a little larger than I expected.  We were able to make use of stock scenery items that were on hand at the theater facility which cut down on the build time for the show.  The technical staff at the theater assisted in the set up of the units and my assistant helped with the painting.  Props were pulled from stock or acquired locally. 

The lighting set up at the facility was not very flexible, but I was able to re-patch the system to allow the operator to have a two scene preset functionality.  With only 12 circuits to work with, I was able to focus lights to create an eerie wash in an amber color for the two scenes, create a moonlight effect from behind the window, and also patch in a practical chandelier.  With two circuits remaining, we inserted break up patterns into two elipsoidals to allow us a textured preshow and set change wash cue.

There were a few problems with the facility initially, but we quickly worked out the kinks and put on a fantastic show to two sold out audiences and a school matinee from North Hertfordshire College.
I  made this sketch onsite at the first rehearsal. The design adaptaion allowed us to move the window onto it's own section of wall and allowed for a curtain on each side of the stage.
We first base coated the floor and stock flats, and then the crew from NHC helped to set up the walls.
My assistant Connaire and I lined the floor and painted the woodgrain in one afternoon.  We were not worried about the mess as the floor was to be repainted black after the show.  We touched up the edges with the black to delineate the stage edge.
The set walls were textured by hand with a sponge and a wash of black.  Trim moldings and a disused fireplace mantle were painted white to finish out the architecture of the space and then props were added to dress the set.  This scene is from the first of the two one-act plays called "The Dark".
This scene is from the second act called "The Monkey's Paw".  The props were all changed and a door was added to make this scene look like a different room.  A bare light bulb replaced the crystal chandelier from the first act.